Saturday, February 19, 2005

All Knight TV

Getting up early on a Sunday morning can be both refreshing and frustrating. First of all, it really does a body good to get up early. If I can wake up early and not have to be forced awake, I'm much happier. There's very little in this world more unpleasant than the sound of the alarm clock going off. When I wake up without having to hear that blasted alarm, I'm refreshed.

On the other hand, it is frustrating when you can sleep later than normal, but don't. One of the things about looking forward to a weekend is knowing you don't have to set the alarm for 5:20 AM. But waking up at 4:20 AM isn't exactly what I had in mind. But it happens. And it happened to me last Sunday.

Flipping through the channels at that time of day can be frustrating. Lots of the regular channels are showing some infomercial. It seems half are are "Girls Gone Wild" videos and the other half are "Sex Talk" with Ron Jeremy. I wonder why that is.

Anyway, all the channels go 24 hours, but don't have 24 hours of content. Some do. Cartoon Network has stuff on all night. But it seems to run in 3-hours cycles. Miss an episode of "Family Guy?" No problem. It'll be back in a couple of hours. Unless they show some weird Japanese cartoon. I think it's called "anime" or something. Used to be called "Japanimation," but you don't hear that phrase anymore.

AMC used to have movies on 24/7, and I guess still do, but they used to not show commercials. If I wanted to watch movie channels with commercials, I'd watch USA. Now, for uninterrupted movies, I have to depend on TCM. Say what you will about Ted Turner, and I don't have much nice to say, he did put on some good channels, and Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies are two good ones.

Watching TCM is something I seem to enjoy more than the wife does. She sees something black and white and starts looking for something else to do. But I like the old movies. Goes back to when I worked at the radio station when I was a teenager.

When I graduated from high school, I stayed on at the radio station. They usually hired high-schoolers because we worked cheap. Anyway, most left when they graduated. But I didn't. I inherited the Monday-Friday night shift, working from 7:00 PM to just after midnight. And, when I got off work, I was wide awake. You try playing ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, and such for five hours then drop right off to sleep. So, when I got home, I was wide awake.

In southeast Georgia, cable was still in its infancy and I watched whatever I could pick up on the antenna. That usually meant stations in Savannah or Jacksonville. And the Savannah stations had a stronger signal. Most went off the air a little after midnight. Watching the NBC station meant Johnny Carson until 1:00 AM, then "A Wink At The Weather," then they'd sign off. The CBS and ABC stations were pretty much the same, only they'd skip the weather forecast. One of them had a five-minute preacher segment, but I don't remember which one.

That's pretty much how it was for years, until the CBS station decided to go all-night. Or "All Knight" as they called it. They filmed some guy in a suit of armor riding around on a horse, then he'd point his lance at the camera and try to speak like some medieval dude. Sound corny? Well, it was cornier than it sounds. They figured out how corny it was, I guess, because after a while, they quit with the silly film of the guy riding around, and went to a still picture of the guy posing on his horse holding up his lance. Not much better, but at least I didn't have to hear his silly fake-English accent.

Anyway, they called it the "All Knight Movie" and showed old films from the Warner Bros. library. A lot of Errol Flynn movies. Plenty with Ronald Reagan. And every one of the movies had Alan Hale (not the guy who played "The Skipper," but his dad), or so it seemed.

So, in the 1970s, the only TV station I could watch overnight featured a bunch of old Warner Bros. movies. My how thing have changed. Today, I can watch commercials selling sex films, commercials selling sex pills, or old Warner Bros. movies.

That's what I call progress.


  1. I love the older movies - Arsenic and Old Lace, Charade, An Affair to Remember,... ok, anything with Cary Grant. or Charlie Chaplin

    I found you via aliciarose over on tblog and I'm so glad! Hi!

  2. The Big Sister (who's 5'4")March 6, 2005 at 4:15 AM

    Oh, I remember this stuff!
    Do you remember the weather guy who was so hilarious? I can't remember his name, but he said whoever sent him forecasts always got it wrong, so you can't pay attention to them. They always say chance of rain is 20% just in case it rains.
    One horribly rainy night, he said forecasters say the chance of rain is 40%. However, if you want to know what the weather's really like...listen to me. Chance of rain is 100%! Go look out the window!
    I wish I could remember his name. I'll bet you do, basil.

  3. Spelling's probably wrong, but wasn't it Jonathan Hartsel?


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